I stood near the Capitol.  It was cold.  My cousin Sam and I woke early to walk across D.C. to reach the Inauguration.  We waited in a lot of lines, and we slowly moved forward, and the whole time I wondered what I was doing there.  Just like everyone else, I was kind of nervous but also kind of excited.

After passing through the lines, we entered into the seating area.  My grandfather provided us with ex-Congressional tickets, entitling us to seats with the other friends and family of politicians and dignitaries.  I’d say we were about 750′ from the podium.  Every so often someone else would be announced and take his or her place on the risers.  If you looked backwards from our position you could see only an ocean of humanity stretching out to the Washington Monument, obscure in the distance.  And I still wondered what I was doing there.

At long last, the ceremony commenced.  People spoke, and sang, and danced.  And then President-elect Barack Obama took the Oath of Office and became President Barack Obama.  Finally, I didn’t wonder what I was doing there any more.  Each and every person in the audience could feel it too.  We all stood there and witnessed something powerful, and the fact that we were all there gave it that much more weight.  I have witnessed few, if any, more awe-inspiring events in my 21 years, and I doubt that there will be many more so, unless I make it a habit to visit the Inaugurations.

And that’s where I was one year ago today.